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House fails to overcome vetoes

Defense, commerce bills back to drawing board

January 3, 1996
Web posted at: 10 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives failed to muster up enough support Wednesday to override President Clinton's veto of two bills. One was the $265 billion defense authorization bill, and the other a $27.3 billion measure for the departments of commerce, state and justice.

The defense authorization bill flopped with a 240-156 vote, 24 short of the two-thirds majority required to override a veto. The House voted 240-159 on the second bill.

Clinton vetoed the bill authorizing funds for defense programs on December 28. He said the package would waste money on an unnecessary missile system and objected to provisions that would expel service members found to have the AIDS virus and ban abortions in U.S. military hospitals overseas. The president said the bill contained $7 billion more than requested by his administration.

Rep. Floyd Spence, R-South Carolina, said Clinton's rejection of a measure that contained pay and benefit increases for American troops constituted a "slap in the face of our military personnel and their families."

Clinton rejected the funding legislation for the commerce, state and justice departments on December 19 on the grounds that it would have removed money earmarked for 100,000 more police officers and cut funds for U.N. peacekeeping by 57 percent.

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